Mthatha Bucks have appointed former Polokwane City coach Duncan Lechesa to take over the reins at the troubled club, as they look to revive their faltering National First Division campaign.
Lechesa, whom the club confirmed to have signed an agreement for one-and-a-half seasons, has formally taken over from his current assistants, Mondli Funani and Sibusiso Mapompo, who have been steering the ship at Bucks for more than a month following Ian Palmer’s surprise exit.
The Amathol’mnyama have been searching for the right candidate to replace former Orlando Pirates striker Palmer, who left by mutual agreement after a negotiation process that saw him depart with the club sitting ninth on the 16-team log.
Since then, Bucks have lost four games and drawn one and they will hope that the appointment of Lechesa will bring stability to the club.
It was only last week that they were able to close talks with Lechesa, who has top-flight football experience as a player and coach.
Efforts to reach the new man at the helm at Bucks were shot down by the club’s chief operating officer Lunga “Doc” Tukute, who told the Daily Dispatch they would only allow Lechesa to interact with the media tomorrow after their Nedbank qualification encounter against Uthongathi at the Mthatha Stadium.
Tukute, however, did comment that: “We are happy to announce the appointment of Mr Duncan Lechesa as our new coach. We have penned down a one-and-a-half season contract with the coach as we are looking to stabilise the team and have continuity.
“We believe the former FC Cape Town and Polokwane City coach who was the technical director at Bloemfontein Celtic [for two years], is the right candidate to restore our pride.”
Bucks have also lost ex-Ugandan national team goalkeeper Posnett Omony, who landed a job in the Premier Soccer League as Chippa United’s goalkeeper coach. Jacob Mokhasi took up his role at Bucks.
Lechesa had his name put forward as a possible head coach at Celtic, but that never materialised and now he will be facing the tough task of soothing Bucks’ bruised ego.
His focus, among others, will be to improve their position on the log by picking up much-needed points as Amathol’amnyama are sitting in the relegation zone on just 13 points.
He will first, however, turn his focus to tomorrow’s Nedbank qualification match against Uthongathi, where he will be hoping his side will build momentum for the next league game against Jomo Cosmos at the Vosloorus Stadium on Sunday.